sugar sugar, minneapolis

I love my home state of Minnesota. It’s hard not to love – Minnesota has larger-than-life-and-stranger-than-life art sculptures, overly extensive freeway driving, enthusiastic patriots (similar to myself), irresistibly cute bunnies, and award-winning cakes and cookies. After a recent visit, I have plenty to share with you about this Land of 10,000 Lakes.

However, the butter heads and deep-fried Reese’s peanut butter cups will have to wait for another day, because chocolate calls. And it calls to us in the lovely, demure form of Sugar Sugar Candy, located in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis.

I had been planning this visit to Sugar Sugar for some time. Originally hoping to discover its glory under a frigid blanket of soft white snow (I know you’re picturing how beautiful Minnesota must be), my dreams were dashed at the same time as my darling 1990 Honda Accord LX. Car-less, and dreamless, I wiled away a Sugar Sugar-less wintry fortnight, before returning to my (current) home, some 1,600 miles away.

Fear not, for I returned to The North Star State, and have now been Sugar Sug-ified. And it is indeed a wondrous thing.

Store owner Joni Wheeler welcomed us to her small but well-stocked square of chocolate and candy bliss, and I soon found myself discoursing happily on Olive & Sinclair, Rogue, and B.T. McElrath chocolate bars. Even more exciting to my two, rather large ears-of-chocolate were mentions of Sweeteeth, Fresco and Komforte, chocolate companies I am much less familiar with taste-wise, and hence much more excited to try.

Joni’s selection of chocolate is constantly evolving, as she stocks fan favorites, tries out new selections (Ramen Noodle Bar review, coming soon), and ultimately, accepts what is delivered to her – she was out of O & S Cinn-Chili when I visited, due to the distributor bringing one-third of the amount she ordered. Once again, I am Cinn-Chili free, which is by no means a good thing. However, I have plenty of other terrific bars, purchased at Sugar Sugar, to showcase over the next days to weeks to months to however long it takes me to review them in thorough detail.

I would be remiss to stop at the chocolate. For what does every other candy store-goer in the country hope for and desire upon a visit to said candy store? Yes, it would be candy. And Sugar Sugar has candy in spades. From hard to find candy from the days of yore, that stubborn folk still seek out faithfully, to popular French treats such as guimauve, to candy bars iconic of St. Paul (Pearson’s Salted Nut Rolls, I’m looking at you), Joni’s shop has it all.

Not the hugest candy fan, one item caught my eye that I had to have. Evaluating my already-large pile of chocolate bars to be purchased, I followed my instincts and ordered twenty of my favorite candy. British-styled sour Flying Saucers, or Satellite Wafers if you will. I should have bought the whole jar, that’s how much I love these things. I first (and second, and third) sampled these as a young ruffian, thanks to childhood friend Ellie and her doting transcontinental family. Having not had these since the days of ruffianhood, I literally did a wee jump before pouncing on these sour trollops.

After my visit to Sugar Sugar, I have enjoyed Fauchon caramels flavored with sea salt and Pineau des Charentes, a French fortified wine containing Cognac. I have delved into the sweet world of the Calisson, which is a world consisting of a sort of candied fruit marzipan, and royal icing. And I have devoured all my sour wafery Flying Saucers.

I should have purchased more of everything.

A huge thanks to Joni for her hospitality, quality chocolate knowledge, sweet treats, and willingness to let me photograph her tantalizing shop. The next time I’m back in Minnesota, nothing will stop me from visiting Sugar Sugar again, not even another car accident (knock on wood that I haven’t just jinxed myself).

Sugar Sugar Candy

3803 Grand Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55409


Tuesday-Saturday: 11h00-19h00
Sunday: 12h00-17h00
Closed Mondays

Stay tuned as I slowly make my way through the fancypants chocolate bars, aka the stuff that dreams are made of, purchased recently from Sugar Sugar.


14 thoughts on “sugar sugar, minneapolis

  1. Wow. That place looks wonderful. I wouldn’t even know where to start if I walked into a candy shop like that.

    Also, I love me some Salted Nut Rolls. I had no clue they were made in St. Paul! I guess I always ripped the wrapper off too quickly to notice…

  2. Bug Eyes (Hannah): I’ve asked Joni if she can ship overseas, we’ll have to wait and see what she says. Sure, I offer to ship overseas, but no requests are made. I see how it is, you prefer to go straight to the source! Understandable, I would do the same:D

    Brianne: Pearson’s was just bought out, but thankfully their products will not be changing, or so I understand. Salted Nut Rolls aren’t my thing (neither are nuts, hmm), but I was a fan of the year that they hid the St. Paul Winter Carnival Treasure Hunt Medallion in a Pearson’s Nut Goodie wrapper.

    It was hidden in Battle Creek Park that year. Another year of me being in the right location, with no glory.

    I’m sure you would have a terrific time in this candy store!

  3. *squawks and runs around the room [it’s midnight, by the by] in a fit of embarrassment and shame and excitement*

    My darling, darling Emma! You’re so right! You sent me a wonderful, exciting, generous email and I AM AN UTTER NINCOMPOOP! Aaaaaaah! You know you’re the only true source of chocolate wonderment in my heart. I will definitely, definitely email you back soon… except it’s midnight, and then tomorrow I have to work at night, and the next night I’m out all night, then the next day I’m doing a day trip, and then the day after that is Father’s Day…. but hand over heart, I will track down that email and send you one in reply within the week! xoxo

    1. Squawking Bug Eyes: Hah, this is all too silly to take terribly seriously… unfortunately for you, I’m now so far away from all this choco deliciousness back here in Maine. I considered asking again before I headed to Minnesota, but didn’t want to pressure you. I know how busy it is to be pressured by chocolate-loving fanatics, eager to share their bounty with you. Actually I don’t know how that is.

      But we’ll work something out yet – – mostly because I’d like to try some of this Curious Chocolatier biz-ness:)

      Father’s Day in September, huh? Seems pretty strange to me. Deal with your busy life, girrrrrrl, and then we’ll talk;)

  4. Oh my, what a wonderful place. I have actually been to Minnesota and I’m so sorry I missed that sweet place. Although, I was visiting a friend and there was like a million kids between us and all that sugar would be dangerous. We tried Stillwater and it was beautiful, but I think we gave every little shop owner a heart attack as we entered their cute little stores full of breakable wares.

    1. sarah: Squeeee, you’ve been to Minnesota! How delightfully exciting to hear. Stillwater is a lovely ol’ town, a bit lovely-less since my favorite childhood Chinese restaurant disappeared from the scene, but ahh, that was years and years ago.

      It is a town that cherishes its terribly large trove of antique stores, so I understand the owners’ trepidation at the sight of your herd. Delightfully exciting!

  5. Oh what a sweet little spot!! I love candy shops like that…I don’t know why, but the sight of candies inside big jars give me the thrills. :-)

    1. sophia: Me too! I love any candy shop that’s got as much hardware as we found here. Jar after jar of delight, old cards and posters of candy brands, etc. I’m glad it was such a sunny day, as it really made these treat-filled jars light up – with deliciousness!

  6. Emma! What a treat you had. I was drooling just at the mention of salted caramels. Plus, I’ve never heard of your beloved Flying Saucers. I have been missing out!
    Did you try the macaroons in the photos? They looked delish as well:)

    1. Erin: I did not try the macarons, although I planned to and then forgot to purchase some. But after a bit of sleuthing, I feel that I can entice you with some of the flavors that have been featured during Sugar Sugar’s tenure:

      Coconut with key lime white chocolate, rose, cardamom honey, ginger peach, banana strawberry, green tea lime, coffee Nutella, watermelon (decorated to look like watermelons)…. Enticed? Moi aussi!

      I’ll try the macarons on my next visit. I’ll make sure to stock up on more of those amazing caramels as well;)

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